Increasing access to counsel, protecting children and promoting the humane treatment of immigrants are among the reasons why the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project is one of our favorite local nonprofits.
The recent Board of Directors retreat was inspiring as we discussed ways to serve more men, women and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona.
The Florence Project was formed more than 25 years ago, in response to an immigration judge’s call for the legal community to assist detained immigrants in Florence, Ariz. Judge John J. McCarrick believed the lack of legal assistance threatened the statutory and constitutional rights of detained indigent immigrants.
Although the government assists indigent criminal defendants and civil litigants through public defenders and legal aid attorneys, it does not provide attorneys for people in immigration removal proceedings.
The need for the Florence Project’s services is significant. An estimated 86 percent of detained immigrants go unrepresented due to poverty.
The Florence Project serves as a national model for other legal service organizations, has won prestigious national awards and has been recognized by national legal associations as well as the U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Justice.
We love that the Florence Project serves an unmet community need. Visit www.firrp.org to learn more.